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Showing Tag: "crime" (Show all posts)

"The Iron Lady" by Daniel Fellows

Posted by Margaret Walker on Monday, September 21, 2020, In : Book Reviews 



The Iron Lady is an entertaining young adult thriller that does not stop moving.

Agatha Freeman is not your average grandma. She loves her grandchildren but has a secret history of espionage that she keeps well away from them up in the cupboard with the cake mix. But criminal minds have long memories and sooner or later, if you have a history of fighting evil, your past will catch up with you. Age, as it is often said, is no barrier. As Agatha’s comfortable retirement is brutally interrupt...


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"Death Unexpected" by Galen Barbour

Posted by Margaret Walker on Sunday, September 13, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Fans of medical dramas will line up to buy this book and, if they don’t, they should.  The author writes with authority and I suggest must be a doctor, but the information is not difficult for the layman to understand.  Alongside the medicine is the excellent characterization and the novelist’s savoury intimation that something sinister has indeed infiltrated the life of the young woman lying motionless in a hospital bed.

Patricia Harding is 28 and works for a legal firm. Benjie is her g...


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"Burn Me Out" by Brandon Barrows

Posted by Margaret Walker on Sunday, September 6, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

I initially thought that Burn Me Out was just another mafia-type novel but, as Barrows drew me skilfully into his story, I realized it promised something much more.

Al Vacarro is a hit man for Eddie Castella, the Italian crime boss who runs the local neighbourhood. Gang warfare, extortion and murder are all in a day’s work and his young family know only his pseudo-job as Vice President of Operations Castella Shipping & Transport. Al’s back story is rich with emotion, from the adolescent ...


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"Money Bags" by Michael G. Browne

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, August 25, 2020,


A well-written crime comic-thriller, about an unassuming estate agent who begins an affair with the wife of a wealthy criminal and finds himself up to his neck in money laundering and drug smuggling.  This is a conventional and pretty simple tale which is not excessive in any capacity, but rather a cosy read; it is probably far more suited to readers who like low-action crime caper fiction based on witty dialogue and humorous personalities.  There is a touch of cynicism in Browne’s portraya...


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"Killer Instincts" by Anna Lee Rose

Posted by Margaret Walker on Tuesday, June 23, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Killer Instincts by Anna Lee Rose is the story of Hanna the virgin sex slave and Jake the caring hitman. For the most part, it was a lot of fun. Sex and crime sell books – and I won’t deny that this is what the author is doing here - but she has not lost her essential humanity (at least, I don’t think so). Booze, drugs and a Bacchanalian lifestyle haven’t dampened Hanna’s enthusiasm for sex either, and Jake shows his compassionate side by flashbacks to a lost love and a sister he fi...


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"Suicide Squeeze" by Steve Hagood

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, June 7, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

What starts off as a Jane Doe body mystery gradually increases in tension and menace, in this gripping, lighthearted semi-action detective thriller.  With a seedy underbelly emerging to the victim’s life, and the progressive sense of a bigger and more organized threat on the horizon, Suicide Squeeze is formula three-act action, in the mould of Hollywood blockbusters – the type starring Mel Gibson, Will Smith and Bruce Willis – if perhaps a little lighter on the action than may be expect...


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"The Body in the Hole" by Jonathan B. Zeitlin

Posted by Margaret Walker on Friday, April 17, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


Yvgeny Yedynak is an undertaker with panache.  He employs a gravedigger the police mistake for a zombie, carries the finger of his dead father in his pocket and drives a hearse called Cerberus, in Greek mythology the dog who guards the gates of Hades.  He is selectively honest and sees no harm in pawning anything of value remaining on a corpse once the relatives have surrendered it for burial. However, when he discovers the headless and handless body of an elderly man in one of his freshly-du...


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"Ivy is a Weed" by Robert M. Roseth

Posted by Margaret Walker on Monday, March 30, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


If you’ve ever wondered how academics justify their existence, then Ivy is a Weed by Robert M. Roseth is the murder mystery for you.  Set within a university in the Pacific Northwest of the USA, the novel is sophisticated yet still on planet Earth, and the plotting is as finely crafted as any novel I have read by well-known crime writers.  One cares about the protagonist Mike Woodsen, university reporter turned amateur sleuth, so it is a rewarding journey taken with him to investigate his s...


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"Butterfly Lake" by Robert J. Saniscalchi

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, March 9, 2020, In : Book Reviews 


I have been fortunate enough to read all of Robert’s books in the “Rob and Tex” series, helping him work on one or two of them, and this is certainly one of the better ones.  Without the gung-ho action of Freedom’s Light, or the profound wartime trauma of Bullets and Bandages, Butterfly Lake is perhaps a more understated and subtle piece of work, and this certainly suits it.  Set in the beauty and tranquillity of the Pennsylvania mountains, which Rob clearly loves, there is more an ai...


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"Boulder County" by Marc Krulewitch

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, January 31, 2020, In : Book Reviews 

In the beautiful forest hills of Boulder County, Colorado, Buddy cultivates weed on his conservation land.  Whilst the growing of weed is not illegal in the state, he is unlicensed and pays no tax… suffice also to say that he grows slightly more than the few plants permitted for personal use.  Now, whilst Buddy has never bothered anybody before with his lifelong hobby and livelihood, he is suddenly attracting all sorts of unwanted attention – the wrong kind - from Colorado’s neighbourin...


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"Payback: Tales of Love, Hate and Revenge" by Steve Bassett

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Tuesday, October 29, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


Unlike its more journalistic predecessor in the series Father Divine’s Bikes, there is a more discernible air of ‘forties noir pulp fiction about this book.  Whilst its prequel focused heavily on cultural differences and animosities, this is more story led, with a greater role on crime fiction, and more prominence given to two of its resuming lead characters, detectives Nick Cisco and Kevin McClosky.  Other than this, the intertwined stories, subplots and backstories have only the most su...


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"Almost Persuaded" by Nigel C. Ferguson

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, October 9, 2019, In : Book Reviews 

I found this to be a somewhat surprising book, in that it taught me a lot about New Zealand and, in particular, its devastating drug-culture.  This eye-opening indictment was perhaps a little saddening, in the respect that it hits home reading that nowhere is safe from the scourge of class-A drugs – specifically in the case of this book, meth-addiction.  Incredibly well-sourced and researched, the fiction is perhaps by the bye, as Almost Persuaded focuses primarily on the country’s cultur...


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"Sour Blood" by Elizabeth Hamilton-Smyth

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Friday, September 13, 2019, In : Book Reviews 


A fun crime thriller, this tale of embezzlement, extortion and murder is formulaic and, overall, pretty entertaining, if not entirely novel.  The author knows her financial markets, and there is a real air of British reality about it, though its usual suspects line-up of gamblers, loan sharks and hit men perhaps feels a little out of place in the otherwise everyday setting.  Elizabeth portrays the capital as a den of brewing trouble, L.A. style - the rougher areas of Brixton and Manchester’...


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"GHOST DOG" BY TIM WHITE

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, May 12, 2019, In : Book Reviews 



“Ghost Dog” is a pretty entertaining, gripping crime adventure story, with a short enough word count to fit in over an evening or two.  Tim White is a pleasant and engaging author to read, though, although - for the most part - well-written in good, articulate English, his language may be a touch simplistic in nature for some; if you are expecting a dark and downbeat crime drama, you will not get that with “Ghost Dog”.  Instead, it is a quickly paced and very dialogue-driven small-tow...


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"FISH FARM" By Walt Sautter

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, In : Book Reviews 



This is a great little novella, gripping and entertaining, which I managed to read in one short evening.  “Fish Farm” is a wonderful cautionary thriller, written in an otherwise entertaining voice, with some really good setpieces – a well-told vigilante tale (and who doesn’t love one of those?) in the mould of “Death Wish” and “Harry Brown”.  The characters are interesting, with intriguing back-stories, and the story is simple yet enticing, with a great ending which I didn’t...


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"MALTHUS REVISITED: THE CUP OF WRATH" By Lin Wilder

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, February 19, 2018, In : Book Reviews 



The latest instalment in the Lindsey McCall series immediately feels as though you are still reading the same book.  Lin Wilder spends a good deal of time recapping “The Fragrance Shed By A Violet” and “A Price For Genius”, creating what can perhaps more accurately be considered a saga than a series.  Although the main plotlines do stand alone, as in this book, they seem of secondary importance to Lin than the subplots involving her favourite character ensemble, all of which find a ro...


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"THE LUCKY WINNER" By Tomi Farrell

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, January 10, 2018, In : Book Reviews 



This crime thriller is entertaining and engrossing right from the off, at least in the first half – midway it appears to change genre and audience entirely. What began as a clever young-adult mystery, with all the usual character and plot cliches, develops in the final third, into pure, glossy pulp-fiction thriller, with all the far-fetched character development and Hollywood gloss. It initially strikes as YA for the main reason that most of the lead characters do seem to ...


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"NEVER TOO LATE TO DIE" By Pablo Palazuelo

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Wednesday, December 6, 2017, In : Book Reviews 




An exceptionally well-written thriller, about a group of retired service agents who decide to investigate the disappearance of a young woman, only to uncover a complex web of espionage and brutality. This character-based tale is intricate and vivid, and showcases wonderfully Pablo Palazuelo’s competencies as an author; he is certainly very high quality – talented, intelligent and stylish – and the translation of this book from his native Spanish to English is all-but flawless. T...

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"The Fragrance Shed By A Violet: Murder In The Medical Center" by Lin Wilder

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Thursday, September 14, 2017, In : Book Reviews 

When you read Lin Wilder, you pretty much know what you are going to get: writing of the highest quality, from an incredibly learned professional author, and “The Fragrance Shed By A Violet…” falls firmly into this category.  I’ve recently read this and its sequel “Do you Solemnly Swear?  A Nation of Law: The Dark Side”, albeit in the wrong order, and have, on both occasions, been awestruck by the depth of Wilder’s knowledge.

Though, if I am to be ruthlessly honest, I have to a...


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"CORROSIVE" by J. Kariuki

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Sunday, July 23, 2017, In : Book Reviews 



This novella grabbed my attention, not because of the cover (which, if I’m honest, could really do with a complete reboot), but because of the blurb – the author sells the story very well with his synopsizing of it, and it intrigued me.

I have to say I was well impressed – the story grabbed me instantly, from the outset a mixture of mystery and repulsion; I couldn’t wait to get from one scene to the next, if only just to find out more.  The book is incredibly well written and edite...


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"THE DAY I MADE GOOD" By Michael Irwin

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, March 6, 2017, In : Book Reviews 




I’ve read alot from this author, and have come to the conclusion that he is a master of metaphors – the satisfying kind, which make one give a little smile and an understanding nod.  With a penchant for first person narration, he draws the reader immediately into the world of his characters, unsavoury, yet as normal as you or I – a world in which life can change in an instant.  Another trademark of Michael Irwin, apparent in this bite-sized cautionary tale of villains, blags and remorse...


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Burn Me Out by Brandon Barrows
****½
Crime Thriller

Control: The Foundation of Life by Lance Packer
****
Reference

Misery of a Halfling by Serge Sanin
***
Comedy

The Iron Lady by Daniel Fellows
****
Thriller

Death Unexpected by Galen Barbour
****
Medical Thriller

All the Bay's Clams and All the Bay's Men by John Bauer
****
Drama

The Interesting Detective by David Alexander Brown
***
Mystery

Woods by J. Rodin
***
Mystery

Money Bags by Michael G. Browne
***
Comedy-Thriller

Strange Karma by Willow Healy
***½
Thriller

Hinterland by Lorna Brown
****
Drama

Justice Without Mercy by R.L. Burgess
***½
Sci-fi

Restless by Jedidiah Appiah
*****
Faith / Motivation

Ultra Betrayal by Glenn Dyer
****
Espionage

IHVJ: The Love Code by Foster Grant
*****
Thriller

Revenge is Coming by Glyn Haynie
*****
Action Thriller

Why is Everything Closed? by Lauren Patterson
****
Children's

The Lightning Horse by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

Nobody Would Listen by R.A. Merrill
*****
Autobiography

The Liminal Lands by Robyn Sheldon
****
Spiritual Memoir

Thryke by Simon Gary
*****
Comedy

Reborn by T.M. Parris
****
Spy Thriller

Lucifer's Star by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus
***½
Sci-fi

A Prince Who Destroyed My Life by Asia Jamil
*****
Non-Fiction

Straight Outta Fangton by C.T. Phipps
***
Action/Comedy

Killer Instincts by Anna Lee Rose
***
Romance/Thriller

The Surgeon's Obol by Arthur Williams
****
Comedy/Medical

The Perfection of Fish by J.S. Morrison
***
Comedy/Offbeat

Bird in a Snare by N.L. Holmes
****
Historical Fiction

as Maryam's Tree Stood Witness by Ali Kasem
*****
Family Drama

A Sparrow Alone by Mim Eichmann
****
Historical Fiction

Suicide Squeeze by Steve Hagood
****
Action

Dr. Insomniac by Samatha Polisetti
****
Memoir

The Magdalene Deception by Gary McAvoy
****½
Mystery

Lying Beneath by Kevin Moran
***
Mystery Thriller

A Nation Interrupted by Kevin McDonald
*****
Thriller

The Best Week that Never Happened by Dallas Woodburn
****
Romance

The Dead Don't Sleep by Steven Max Russo
***½
Action

Think Laugh Cry by William Baga
****
Short Stories

The Shepherd God by Matt Taylor
*****
Historical Fiction

On the Wrong Side of God by Harry Boyd
****½
Non-fiction

Servant Leader's Manifesto by Omar L. Harris
*****
Business

Photography for Well-Being 1 by Lee Aspland
****
Photography

The Corral Ring by Thomas Richards
*****
Historical Fantasy

Call Numbers by Syntell Smith
***
Drama

No Pianos, Pets or Foreigners by Joe Palermo
***
Memoir

Raven by Sue Loh
****
Mystery

Not Pregnant by Karina Savaryna
*****
Memoir

How to Get the Best From Life by Luis Pisoni and Aurora Mazzoldi
***
Self-Help

Hotel Inspire by Douglas Warren
***
Drama

Return to the Madness by Glyn Haynie
*****
War / Action

The Final Weekend by Neal Cassidy
***
Comedy

Ivy is a Weed by Robert M. Roseth
****
Crime Thriller

Resilience During the Pandemic by Nick Arnett
*****
Motivational

Will and Mysteria by Christa Reynolds
****
Self-Help/Spiritual

The Power of Music and the ADHD Brain by Luz Galindo
****
Psychology

The Latecomers by Rich Marcello
***
Drama

Monsters Inside by Ric Rae
***
Sci-fi / Horror

Butterfly Lake by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action

Our Teenage Years by T.J. Wray
****
Memoir

The Soloist by Donald Gates
****
Espionage

Lady Father by Rev. Susan Bowman
****
Memoir

Catamaran Crossing by Douglas Carl Fricke
*****
Memoir

Black Shade of White Justice by Cattleya
****
Fantasy/Romance

The Strawberry Road by Ritch Gaiti
****
Spiritual

Red Hail by Jamie Killen
****
Sci-fi/Mystery

Bullets and Bandages by Robert J. Saniscalchi
*****
War Fiction

Who's There? by Dimas Rio
*****
Short Stories

Beautiful Things by Eloise Kelly
****
Drama

Golgotha by Guy Portman
****
Dark Comedy

I Learned it From You by Kevin Douglas Wright
*****
Documentary

Boulder County by Marc Krulewitch
*****
Crime Drama

Stronger than Blood by Allan Mason
***½
Sci-fi

Bottomless Cups by Joel Bresler
***
Comedy

Non Obvious Megatrends by Rohit Bhargava
****
Non-Fiction

From Doctor to Guinea Pig by Angelique D.
*****
Biography

Freedom's Light by Robert J. Saniscalchi
****
Action Thriller

Bucket Showers and Baby Goats by Christine Brown
****
Travel Memoir

Four Calling Burds by Vincent Meis
****
LGBTQ / Drama

Promises to the Fallen by Glyn Haynie
*****
War Fiction

An Unwanted and Unwilling Hero by E. Gourm
****
Historical Fantasy

The Girl in the Scarlet Chair by Janice TRemayne
****
Paranormal / YA

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
*****
Travel Memoir

Freedom Sex and a Meat Cleaver by Sherman Miles
****
Historical Fiction

The Intelligence Factor by Mike Logsdon
***
Sci Fi / Action

The Apple by Devashish Sardana
****
Action / Adventure

Destiny's War by Pyram King
****
Historical Fiction

Black Volta by PEte K.J.
****
Drama

Payback by Steve Bassett
***
Noir Fiction

Were We Awake by L.M. Brown
****
Short Stories

Almost Persuaded by Nigel C. Ferguson
****
Crime Thriller

Do We Have A Center by Walter Frank
*****
Politics

World Football Domination
****
Sci-Fi

Sour Blood
***
Crime Thriller

Beware of the Thought Bubbles
*****
Children's

Beyond The Prison Of Beliefs
****
Science/Religion

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Comedy

Rocky Mountain Noir
***
Science Fiction

Foster Care To Millionaire
****
Memoir

Flow Like A River
*****
Thriller

Secrets To Being Amazing
****
Self-Help

13 Dark Tales: Collection Two
****
Short Stories

The Wooden Man
*****
Children's

Count It All Joy
*****
Drama

Myth Agent
****
Fantasy

Voice of the Sword
***
Fantasy

No Quarter: Dominium
***
Adventure

A Trinity of Wicked Tales
****
Horror


****
Short Stories

The Day I Made Good
****
Crime Drama

Complete Poetry of Norman AJ Berisford
*****
Poetry

Chuck the Rooster Loses His Voice
*****
Children's

Living Blind Without the Internet
****
Documentary

Devil in the Countryside
****
Historical Thriller

Monoland: Into the Gray Horizon
****
Fantasy

Corrosive
****
Horror

Woodiss is Willing
***
Comedy

The Fear
***
Horror

Superi: Reborn
*****
Fantasy

Murder in the Medical Center
***
Drama

The Eye of Nefertiti
****
Children's

Not Exactly Shakespeare
****
Comedy

Finding the Narrow Path
****
Biography

The Wyndham Werewolf
****
Short Stories

Only Human
***
Supernatural

What is Justice
**
Documentary

The Rat Tunnels of Isfahan
****
Historical Fantasy

I Once Was Lost But Now I'm Found
*****
Documentary

Never Too Late To Die
***½
Thriller

Understanding the Patterns of Your Life
***
Non-Fiction

Happiness is Just a Pill Away
*****
Comedy-Drama

The Lucky Winner
***
Crime Thriller

Endohuman
***
Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Tummy Rumble Quake
****
Children's

Monoland: The Shimmering Mist
****
Fantasy

Goodbye Butterfiles
*****
Psychology

Treading the Uneven Road
****
Short Stories

The Cuckoo Colloquium
****
Comedy

When I Turned Nineteen
*****
War Memoir

Fortuna and the Scapegrace
****
Comedy

Gnosis
***
Young Adult

Buy or Die
***
Satire

Faithful Servants
****
Drama

Ghost Dog
***
Crime Adventure

Looper
****
Drama

The Sinister Urge
**
Drama

Read to Succeed
*****
Self Improvement

Gone to the Dogs
*****
Comedy-Drama

Die Back
****
Fantasy

Finding My Platoon Brothers
*****
War Memoir

Delivering Virtue
****
Comedy

The Room Above
***
Fantasy

Written By Blood: Conviction
****
Action

The Day My Kisses Tasted Like Disorder
****
Poetry

I Have Demons
****
Short Stories

Victoria's Voice
****
Real Life

The Revolutionary Youth
*****
Drama

The Dog Thief
*****
Short Stories

Appointment With Fear
*****
Children's

Mermaids Are Real
***
Fantasy

Legends of Persia
***
Historical Fiction

My Groans Pour Out Like Water
*****
Poetry

47 Hours
*****
Political Thriller

The Road to Alexander
***
Historical Fiction

Father Divine's Bikes
****
Drama

Winning With Data
*****
Business

Aquila
****
Historical Fiction

Lions, Leopards and Storms, oh my!
***
Children's

Sparrowhawk on the Horizon
***
Historical Fiction

The Warehouse Tour
***
Short Stories

Feast of Sapphires
****
Poetry

The Night Alphabet
*****
Short Stories

Just Another Girl's Story
***
Autobiography

No-one Listens
***
Poetry

The Irregular Inquests of Professor Peppercorn by Brennan McMahon
****
Poetry

Malthus Revisited
***
Suspense/Thriller

My Weight Loss Journey
****
Self-Help

Change of Chaos
****
YA / Fantasy

Fish Farm
****
Thriller

Songs to New York
****
Short Stories

I Claudia
*****
Historical Fiction

God: Challenges From Philosphy and Science
****
Philosophy

The Friar's Lantern
*****
Role Play

Crazy About Kurt
****
Comedy

Dark Cure
****
Action

Translucent Boy
***
Sci-Fi Fantasy

Dart by Dale Renton
****
Sci-fi Fantasy

Monoland: Beyond the Monochrome
*****
Fantasy

Choose a Reality by Emmanuel Morfoboss
***
Self-Help

Wacky on the Junk by Kathy Varner
****
Memoir

The Eden Complex by Elise Leise
***½
Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Tomthunkit's Theory of the Universe
***
Political / Non-fiction

Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto
****
Comedy/Memoir

Turning on the Christmas Lights by Nellie Woods
****
Short Stories

The Body in the Hole by Jonathan B. Zeitlin
****
Crime / Mystery

A Heart on the River by John Bauer
****
Comedy Drama

Let Yourself Be by CJ Lacsican
****
Memoir / Self-Help

Island Boy by Mark Bulahao
****
Drama

The Resurrection of Boraichee by William Natale
***
Comedy-Drama

Vanish by Dawn by J.D. Wells
****
Comedy-Drama

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GUEST REVIEWER:
Profession: 
Casual teacher; Special Education. 
Qualifications:  
Science degree, Diplomas in Education and Professional Communication. Edited Masters Athletics magazine for three years. 
MARGARET WALKER
Publications:  
One novel, His Most Italian City, published by Penmore Press and half a dozen published short stories.
Author Matt McAvoy
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